Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peace Pipeline - Peace March and Washington

October 27, 2012

"Pakistan has been pursuing the [Peace Pipeline] Iran-Pakistan (IP) Gas Pipeline Project and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project to overcome the energy crisis in the country. However, pressure from the US on dealings with Iran have put projects with Pakistan’s western neighbour under a cloud." (APP, September 04, 2012, Published in The Express Tribune).

"The dark side is that TAPI provides a cover for the Americans to maintain a potent military presence in Afghanistan, though for other strategic reasons. Both India and Pakistan are energy starved countries and need gas urgently from whatever source it comes.

Washington’s support implies that TAPI will attract the financiers more promptly. However, the overriding American objective to promote TAPI is to ensure that the IPI [Iran-Pakistan-India] project is effectively killed. America has a history of bulldozing economically unpopular projects in exchange for politico-strategic gains....

The tussle over the IPI and the TAPI is not a mere economic battle; it has far-reaching geopolitical dimensions. The IPI and TAPI are symbols of the ‘new great game’ - the main goal of which is gaining control of oil and gas reserves in this region. The US and its allies want Pakistan to abdicate the IPI and pursue the TAPI only; India has already done so. Now, China and Russia are supporting Pakistan to withstand the US pressure for giving up the IP project." (Khalid Iqbal, 'IPI and TAPI: the peace pipelines', The Nation, May 14, 2012).

"...two-day rally [Peace March was] organized by Imran Khan, the sportsman-turn-politician who has become a top critic of American drone strikes in Pakistan, saying they have killed many innocent civilians.

...the recent study at Stanford and New York University titled ‘Living Under Drones’ proves US drone strikes do little to make the US safer. The study claimed that only 2 per cent of drone strike casualties in Pakistan are top militants, and that the large number of resultant civilian deaths turn ordinary Pakistanis against the US.

The study also revealed that number of casualties among Pakistani civilians was far higher than the US acknowledged.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, from June 2004 till mid-September 2012, between 2,562 and 3,325 people were killed in drone strikes Pakistan, mostly in the North Waziristan region.  Some 474 to 881 of those killed were civilians, including 176 children. Another 1,300 were wounded." ('Pakistan forces halt anti-US drone march to S. Waziristan', RT, October 07, 2012).

"The timing of the attack on Malala Yousafzai on October 9 just one day after the PTI march against drone attacks is most intriguing. The attention of the world to the cruelties and barbaric bombardment of innocent civilians in FATA as revealed by the participation of 32 Americans and several British in the PTI march, its coverage by the BBC and the denunciation of drone attacks by the visiting Russian foreign minister, editorials against drone attacks in the Financial Times and other newspapers reveal the global attention that US crimes against the people of Pakistan were getting. It is also intriguing to note that after the attack on Malala Yousafzai the casualties from drone attacks increased to 18 and 27 the day before and yesterday respectively. This precious loss of life and the crimes against humanity committed by the US against these innocents is now not drawing any attention in the international media."

"This time around the civil society, media, civilian government, the army, etc appeared very well organized against the cowardly attack on Malala in a matter of just 24 hours. And almost immediately Barak Obama who has been ordering the murder of innocent Pakistani civilians on a daily basis and Hilary Clinton were ready with their statements condemning the barbarity.

The immediate and well organized reaction of the media, civil society, UN Secretary General, the highest political office in Washington, the singers, etc, convey the impression that they were ready for the situation 'even before' the poor child was attacked." (Shahida Wizarat, 'Why Malala Yousafzai was attacked?', The Frontier Post, October 14, 2012).

"Tensions are running high between Pakistan and the US over the latter’s drone attacks on the majority-Islamic nation. Washington insists that its airstrikes, part of the US “War on Terror” campaign seeking to defeat Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants crossing the Afghanistan border, are very precise." ('Pakistan forces halt anti-US drone march to S. Waziristan', RT, October 07, 2012).

In Muslim countries, West intervene in their state affairs because of their interest in natural resources of the region. US has been using Pk-land for secret intelligence operations; there are several US military bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To justify its counter-terrorism programs, Washington increases its covert support to the 'terrorists'. The ongoing insurgency in the region is a clue of a 'different situation coming ahead for people of Pakistan.

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